Public forum set to discuss Hays CISD rezoning maps

A trio of draft maps are what Hays CISD’s rezoning committee will take to the public as they ready for Monday’s first scheduled input forum at the Hays CISD Performing Arts Center.

That decision came after the committee spent the better part of Monday detailing two new options that deviate from the districts initial two draft maps unveiled last week. The committee also unanimously voted to retire Draft Map 1.

One of those new maps, called Draft Map 3, alters the boundaries for several middle schools, but does not split them entirely. A fourth draft map, however, was developed independent of current middle school boundaries.

That fourth map currently calls for five of the six middle schools to split in some way. However, district officials believe if public sentiment is favorable toward the option, the committee could consider adjusting current boundaries to reduce the impact it has on middle schools. All three of the proposed draft maps are preliminary and are not final. District officials plan to take the committee’s final recommendation to the Hays CISD board of trustees for a final vote no later than December.

Monica Davidson, a Garlic Creek resident and member of the 35-person committee, said the committee understands the maps are going to generate many questions and comments.

“Our job is to look at not just the numbers, but know there are real people in these neighborhoods, so we try to respect that,” Davidson said. “But we want to look at all of the options, whether it illicits negative feedback or not. We need to have that information so we know what we’re working with.”

Davidson said while rezoning can be a tough challenge, she belies the committee is doing the best they can.

It becomes difficult as the committee starts to make decisions about individual neighborhoods and where they could be rezoned. Sandra Bryant, a Buda resident who was elected as committee secretary, said the rezoning process is a large responsibility the group has taken on.

But primary issues over whether or not to split middle schools, as well as balancing the socioeconomic divide, continue to pop up for the group.

Davidson said the group is not afraid to talk about socioeconomics, but understands it isn’t one of the core factors the committee must consider when rezoning. Core principles such as neighborhood concept and proximity take precedent, Davidson said.

Bryant said while the district aims to try and balance socioeconomic patterns, she doesn’t believe there’s a way to make it equal across the district.

“We can try to make it as balanced as possible, but I’m not sure we can get it even across the board, 50 (percent)-50-50,” Bryant said.

She and Davidson now await what the public has to say about the first three maps.

“It’s important to hear from parents, staff and people in the district to get their feedback,” Bryant said.

Coming up

Hays CISD’s first rezoning public forum 
When: Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 6 p.m.
Where: Hays CISD Performing Arts Center auditorium

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